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Personal Injury Blog

Anoxic Brain Injuries From Near Drowning Accidents

Thursday, May 21, 2020




A day swimming at a local pool, lake or beach is a treat for you and your family. Unfortunately, a beautiful day of recreation can turn tragic in a matter of minutes. There are thousands of fatalities each year due to drowning and thousands more nonfatal incidents.

Submersion in water for just minutes results in mild to severe problems. One of the most common results of near drowning is a condition called anoxic brain injury (ABI). Anoxia happens when the brain lacks oxygen. Experts estimate that a few minutes of oxygen deprivation causes a victim a variety of symptoms but dissipates quickly, leaving the person to fully recover in a short amount of time. Unfortunately, four to five minutes without oxygen produces moderate to severe brain damage.

Effects of Mild Anoxia:

  • Disturbances vision, focus, and/or memory
  • Heavy Breathing
  • Sweating
  • Numb or tingling feelings especially in extremities
  • Dizziness
  • Heavy Breathing
  • Euphoric sensations

Effects of Moderate to Severe Anoxia:

  • Speech disturbances
  • Severe headache
  • Confusion
  • cyanosis (bluish coloring)
  • Jerking
  • Seizures
  • unconsciousness
  • Coma

Long Term Effects of Severe ABI:

There are many long term effects when the cerebral cortex and cerebellum are starved for oxygen for four or more minutes. Weakness in the arms and legs, difficulties in movement and balance make it difficult for the victim to walk.

Disturbance of the basal ganglia might lead to persistent tremors and/or writing. Other times, chorea may result causing jerky movements.

Some patients suffer cortical blindness when the anoxia impacts the occipital lobe. In rare cases, a condition known as Anton's syndrome develops in which the person does not realize he has lost vision despite bumping into objects and not recognizing objects.

Those with frontal lobe impairment exhibit personality changes including mood swings when the patient become angry, irritable, frustrated and/or depressed.

 

Possible Tests and Treatments:

Physicians will likely order a number of tests to determine the immediate condition of a near drowning victim. Among these are blood counts, x rays, magnetic resonance imagery scan (MRI) and, computerized axial tomography (CT). These tests will help doctors assess the severity of the damage to the brain and body. . Typically, a medical team assembles to provide physical, occupational and speech therapy. The severity of impairment indicates how long to conduct rehabilitation efforts for the best outcome. Psychological counseling often helps a patient deal with the emotions due to his life altering accident.

Liability and Legal Action:

While many near drownings are accidents in which nobody is at fault, there are times when such occurrences could and should have been prevented. If, for example, the body of water was under the supervision of an ill-trained or inattentive lifeguard, a victim could in legal action against that person, the property company or the organization that certified the lifeguard.

Others who might be liable in certain situations are owners of unprotected pools. For example, in Florida, persons who own pools must provide a barrier to that body of water for when it is not supervised. This barrier could be a fence with a lock and/or alarm or a pool cover that meets the specifications of the American Society for Testing and Materials. Owners of properties containing unprotected wells or other water hazards might also suffer legal consequences should a drowning or near drowning occur there.

If you or a family member suffered from an ABI from drowning you need assistance. A competent and experienced lawyer can help you during this challenging time. You need compensation for associated costs like medical and therapy bills and possible loss of wages.  The pain and suffering ABI victims endure also deserves monetary assistance.

We Want to Help You:

Those impacted by the trauma and damage of anoxic brain injury due to a near drowning deserve compassion and guidance. The attorneys  at Freeman and Freeman urge you to contact us  for assistance with your particular situation.

The Severity of Pool Accidents and Drowning Injuries

Thursday, March 08, 2018

 

pool accidents lawyer

The Frequency of Swimming Pool Accidents

Pool accidents and drowning injuries are more common than a lot of people think. People who have been in pool accidents will often blame themselves. They might think that they were just being careless and that they should absorb all of the associated medical costs themselves as a sort of punishment.

However, there are many instances where the pool owners themselves will actually be liable. Swimming pools absolutely have to meet certain requirements, or they are not regarded as safe. The requirements for a safe swimming pool have actually changed over the years, and some pool owners and operators might not have updated them recently enough. People who have suffered from pool accidents should consider the possibility that the swimming pool that they used was just unsafe.

Negligence

In cases involving pool accidents and drowning injuries, establishing negligence on the part of the pool owner is often important. It's also much easier than a lot of people think. Far too many pool owners are under the impression that preventing swimming pool injuries is the responsibility of their guests. The fact that it's very easy for them to be liable for these injuries is not something that a lot of people take into account.

For instance, slip and fall accidents around swimming pools are distressingly common. In some cases, if homeowners do not adequately warn people that a given area might be slippery, they might be liable. Finding puddles of standing water surrounding a pool are common enough that a lot of people don't realize those pool owners and operators can be liable if someone has a slip and fall accident as a result of the puddle. If the pool owners knew that the puddle was present and did not address it, it's a clear case of negligence.

Insurance and Swimming Pool Accidents

Pool owners often fail to get the insurance coverage that they need in order to defend themselves from being liable. It should be noted that when a person suffers a very severe injury in the context of using a swimming pool, the pool owners and operators may not truly have the coverage that they need. Legally, situations like that are truly serious. As the associated injury gets more and more severe, the chances that the pool owners are liable will only increase in many cases.

People who were in pool accidents might be under the impression that the pool owners have the insurance coverage that's necessary in that situation. However, swimming pool liability often requires its own insurance policy. A homeowners insurance policy or a similar overarching insurance policy might not be enough.

Many people who have been injured in pool accidents are only too used to the fact that insurance companies frequently fail to provide them with what they need in order to cover all of their medical expenses. If these same individuals got the legal representation that they need, they might be able to make more progress when it comes to recovering.

Seeking Assistance

People who have been involved in swimming pool accidents and people who have family members that have been in swimming accidents should consider getting in touch with Freeman & Freeman. Freeman & Freeman can help people living in Los Angeles and throughout the greater Los Angeles area itself.

Swimming pool accidents can be particularly common in these areas. This is partly because people are just more likely to own and use swimming pools there in the first place. Swimming pool owners and operators sometimes forget about all of the risks involved with using a space like a swimming pool. People involved in swimming pool accidents directly or indirectly should not have to suffer for this.

Contact us for more information.

 

Keeping Kids Safe Around the Water

Friday, July 07, 2017

When living in Los Angeles, chances are you will come in contact with a large body of water at some point during the summer. If you have kids, their safety is a priority--but what are the best methods of keeping your children safe? Don't depend on lifeguards. 

If you're in a public pool, chances are there's up to a hundred other people also in the pool. While the lifeguards are very well-trained, it's possible that they could miss a single child being in distress due to the other factors they have to focus on, from other parents asking questions to make sure that kids aren't running and diving. The best thing to do is to act as your child's personal lifeguard and accompany them. 

Make sure flotation devices are Coast Guard approved. 

While a pool noodle, kick board, or inner tube may seem like a suitable flotation device, they are not ideal. Life jackets and other devices that get buckled or tied around your child are better ways of making sure that in an emergency, they cannot escape the grip of the person in the water. This ensures that even if you step away from the pool for a minute, your child can't escape their water wings and risk drowning. 

Talk with your child about the rules of the pool. 

The best method of responding to poolside accidents is preventing them from ever occurring. Explaining the rules (don't go in the water alone, don't run on the pool deck, no diving, etc) and why they're rules is an excellent method of prevention. Explanations make it so your child understands the concept, instead of just feeling like you as the parent are laying down rules to strip away the fun from the activity. 

 If you or your child do experience a pool accident or drowning injury, contact us to set up a cost-free consultation to determine the legalities connected to the incident and what we can do for you. 

Pool Accidents are Still a Concern When the Weather is Cool

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Now that the weather has cooled down, the last thing that you and your family might be thinking about is your swimming pool. After all, you might have closed down your pool for the season quite some time ago, and the cold temperatures might have you thinking more about coffee and comfort food than about swimsuits and pool toys.

However, just because you aren't using your pool right now does not mean that you should not be concerned about it. For example, pool accidents are still a concern all year long, and you do not want anyone to get hurt or for you and your family to be liability for someone's accident.

First of all, it's important to still keep your swimming pool area locked. Ideally, you should have a tall fence around your pool, and you shouldn't slack off on keeping it locked and keeping up your warning signs just because your pool isn't in use right now. Someone could still fall in and get injured, even if your pool has been drained.

Secondly, you should make sure that any kids who are playing on your property are fully supervised and are aware of the importance of staying away from the pool area. After all, just because you aren't thinking about swimming right now does not mean that a neighbor's child or one of your children's friends might not get excited at the sight of the pool and try to dive in. Supervision around the pool is important all year long, including when the pool is closed.

By taking these steps seriously, you can help prevent anyone from being injured, and you can also protect yourself from a potentially expensive lawsuit, too.

If you happen to find yourself in need of a personal injury lawyer, contact us at Freeman & Freeman today.


Keep Children Safe In Backyard Pools

Friday, May 20, 2016

Any homeowner with a pool should be concerned about the potential of a drowning. If you have children, or children live in the neighborhood, it important to take steps to prevent the chance of a pool accident or drowning injury. Implement the following tips to keep children safe in your backyard pool.

Limit Access and Desire

Install a fence that surrounds your pool completely. Keep the deck clear of toys, such as balls. Your goal is to make it impossible for a child to enter the pool area without the assistance of an adult. Therefore, a fence is necessary. You also want to dissuade anyone from attempting to retrieve a toy from inside the pool area. Kids may try to climb over the fence because they want to play with the ball. Keep toys out of sight so they don't entice children to enter the pool area unattended.

Understand Safety Devices

If your children, or the children in the neighborhood, have not had formal swimming lessons, they may not be safe in the water. Don't make the mistake of offering them a pool noodle or other inflatable device as a safety measure. Air-filled and foam toys are not safety devices, they are toys. Life jackets are the only thing designed to keep non-swimmers safe.

Provide Constant Supervision

An adult needs to supervise every minute a child is in the pool. This is true even if the child is wearing a life jacket. Adult supervision is mandatory to prevent a drowning or near-drowning. Life jackets help but don't always prevent a drowning since the face can still go in the water with the life jacket on. The adult providing the supervision should not be reading a book or talking on the phone or doing anything else. If the child is young, or can't swim, the adult should stay within reach at all times.

Monitor Weather Conditions

A homeowner is responsible for monitoring the weather conditions and acting accordingly. If thunder is heard or lightning observed, everyone must get out of the pool and stay out of the pool for 30 minutes. The timer restarts for each subsequent thunder or lightning until the storm has completely passed.

Take the above steps to reduce the risk of a pool accident or drowning injury this summer. For additional information, contact us.


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From our offices in Woodland Hills, California, Freeman & Freeman, LLP, provides legal advice and representation for clients in communities throughout the state, including those in Burbank, Glendale, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Tarzana, Santa Clarita, Agoura Hills, Reseda, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Northridge, Granada Hills, Pacoima, Panorama City, North Hollywood, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Lancaster, Palmdale and Alhambra.